LONDON: Some of the biggest brands in the UK are sponsoring Pride in London 2017, the LGBT+ event that kicked off at the weekend, but one of its organisers has called on marketers to do more to help stem a rise in anti-gay hate crimes.

This year's event takes place from 24 June to 9 July and marks the 50th anniversary of the legalisation of homosexuality in the UK, and a host of well-known brands are showing their support.

These include Barclays Bank, which will change its logo colours to rainbow, professional services firm PwC, French insurance giant Axa, as well as retailers Tesco and Starbucks, among several others, City A.M. reported.

In addition, the Evening Standard reported that Transport for London plans to decorate some of its major Underground stations and bus stops with colourful rainbow patterns.

Complementing these corporate efforts, Pride in London itself is launching an awareness campaign, called "Love Happens Here", which will include its first ever TV ads that are due to be broadcast on Channel 4.

However, Iain Walters, Deputy Director of Marketing for Pride in London, told Marketing Week that its new campaign is being driven by necessity because of a recent rise in hate crimes against the LGBT+ community.

"British society has made a lot of progress since gay male sex was legalised 50 years ago. However, if you look at the Met Police data since 2014, when equal marriage laws were passed, hate crimes towards the LGBT community in London have increased by 35%," he said.

"This shows there's clearly still a need for brands to humanise the gay community further and a lot more that we call can do," he added.

"It's wonderful more gay families are being shown on TV ads. But there's still a long way to go when you consider the proliferation of BAME characters and also the lack of gender equality in board rooms."

Data sourced from City AM, Evening Standard, Marketing Week; additional content by WARC staff